Bhopal: It's all gas

There is always a tragedy waiting to be told. 25 years if the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and people are still suffering. The papers are full of information and I am glad that not only Union Carbide but the Indian government is made accountable.

However, I don’t see why a front page news story needs to have the paper’s view alongside it. There is an editorial for it. Anyhow, the TOI gave its viewpoint and what stuck me was this:

The criminal cases meandering along for 25 years must be vigorously pursued and the guilty brought to book. As for the victims’ claim for more compensation, the shameful settlement with Union Carbide can perhaps no longer be reopened. But the government, which negotiated that deal, must make good the loss to victims resulting from its gross underestimation of their numbers initially. Or else, India will appear a banana republic.

Why do we wait for anniversaries? If the case against Union Carbide cannot be re-opened, then we have learnt our lesson and must not encourage more such factories. How does the newspaper propose that the government must make good the loss? The people responsible for the underestimation of numbers should have been behind bars.

And are we only concerned about reputation? About being seen as a banana republic? By whom? The same people who cause this calamity and walk away by throwing some money?

This is what I mean by western colonisation in contemporary times.

There was a film on the subject called Bhopal Express. I had written about it and the issues of the real versus the celluloid. Here is the image (column dated December 10, 1999). Don’t have the patience to copy it, but I think if you zoom in and do some magic with brightness and contrast you might be able to read it, if you wish to.

- - -

I do not think anyone would have missed this photograph.

It became a symbol of the “worst industrial disaster”. I know that sometimes one has to make a point with more than a little drama. It is necessary. I think was staged, though – it is too carefully handled, too static to be candid.

There can be no quarrel with conveying the message. This picture makes me think about a great picture. Or, rather, a smart picture.

This one does not:


  1. note to self

    1. western colonisation
    2. China gate(colonisation)Milk scandal,lead in toys,
    3.before Babri(Ram bhoomi)double destruction oh double negative.
    4.Criminalization of tragic accident (bhopal)sorry another western colonisation.
    5.technology transfer( western colonisation)
    6.Chandrayaan oh my bhartiya innovation.
    7.Saudi ban on other faiths (western propaganda against islam)
    8.Dalai lama wanting more rights for Tibetans(a troublemaker interfearing in internal affairs of peace loving nation China).

    and just for fun i share these notes with your readers.

    kul bhushan

  2. Thank you Kul Bhushan:

    1. Fact
    2. China will not allow western colonisation.
    3. Mughals did not come to teach us to make dum pukht biryani.
    4. The using of tragic incident is different from Union Carbide as part of western colonisation. Plz think before you write about an issue that has killed many times more than a 9/11.
    5. What tech transfer? Japs do it too.
    6. If it is Bharatiya (not yours alone), then #5 should be irrelevant from your POV.
    7. SA is not a democracy; it follows Islamic laws. Western propaganda is to make more noise when they are happily supping with the Saudis themselves.
    8. No one has called China a peace-loving nation. It isn't about if this is wrong, the other is necessarily right.

    Just for fun I am sharing my counter notes...am sure they accept your love, for I have none (double positives don't work, do they?!):)

  3. Farzana ,
    no comment on Bhopal,only Death by numbers.

    166 dead Mumbai (terror attack)

    8000 dead Bhopal(industrial accident),

    3000 dead terrorist attack 9/11 ,

    30000 dead american highways(careless drivers),

    500000 dead india's partition( hmm those savages )

    4000 americans dead in Iraq war(dam Saddamm)

    190000 Iraqi dead in Iraq war(Dam Saddamm)

  4. Interesting Kul Bhushan...no mention of 1984, 1993, 2002. And for Iraq war it is damn Saddam!Where is Saddam now?


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